How Greenstar aims to Touch the heart of the young consumer

Have you seen the new Touch campaign by Greenstar? Wrong question. Who hasn’t seen it? Unless you’ve been living under a rock, there’s no chance you would have missed it, it’s that ubiquitous.

You switch on your TV, the ‘Suno Zara’ song is there. You try switching the channels, it’s no use. It’s on every freaking channel. You turn on the radio while driving and you’re hit with the blast of ‘Suno Zara khushi ki Aahat’, at the same time you pass a billboard with a chick in full winter gear and a humungous ‘Touch’ pack pasted alongside her. Talk about making the right associations with your brand for the ‘right’ brand image, the guys (or gals) at  suddenly seem to have awaken from a deep slumber. Either that or there has been a change of guard at the helm of their brand management, or maybe there’s a sudden influx of much needed capital from their parent company Population Services International (PSI) which is headquartered in, where else, Washington D.C., the place which seems to make all the major political decisions for Pakistan. Who knows.

But I would put my money on the influx-of-capital theory, because only a couple of weeks ago I saw their Job Opportunity ad in the Dawn Advertiser with no less than four openings at the top level.

Coming back to the Touch campaign , they seem to have done pretty much everything you can expect by way of the usual 360° brand campaigns in Pakistan. Sometime back they even launched an aggressive sales promotional activity whereby they offered prizes like tickets to Dubai and generators as prizes.I wouldn’t be surprised to find a link as well leading to the Touch profile on Facebook.

But it’s taking things a bit too far when during the cricket commentary (Pakistan vs Australia series) on FM 106.2, you suddenly hear that the boundary that has just been hit was sponsored by ‘Touch’! I mean, we got the point through your song that Touch condoms are cool and are being used by young hip couples, so do you really have to stoop to that level just for the sake of brand awareness? Research shows (Ogilvy on Advertising) that there’s no correlation between brand awareness and brand preference. That means even if you’re able to drill your brand in the mind of the consumer, he may not necessarily go for it.

The song, however remains the core of their strategy, so let’s delve deeper into what they’ve done with it. It’s a catchy song, the same one which they used in their campaign a couple of years back. Only the picturisation of it has changed. Before there was Sara Chaudhary as the Touch wife with an unknown husband. This time, both the husband and wife are unknown, at least to me.

But the video has definitely improved. Not that it was bad even before.

The guy, and a smart one at that, is shown as a popular figure amongst his peers, which is good. You don’t want to show a geek or a Mr. Nobody using your brand. Just wouldn’t work, unless the brand is specifically positioned for the underdog. Then the girl, a pretty one at that, is new to the university/college and has the looks to make heads turn. There’s the usual collision with the books falling down, and you know the rest.  The two first exchange glances which progresses to online chatting to talking on the cell to finally tying the knot.

Two things. First, everything is top-notch. Right from the selection of the guy and the girl right down to the cellphone and the laptop they’re using to stay connected. Second, the steady pace at which the story progresses seamlessly from the first contact to the birth of the child is pretty good.

One thing I found really missing from the song was the presence of Touch or even GreenStar in the majority of the video. I mean here you are, spending a huge chunk to get this song composed and sung by no less than Najam Sheraz (I can’t identify the female singer), on top of that you’ve a quality video produced, and the best you can do is show your product when the baby is born and the doctor comes to offer you Touch?

There had to be more of the brand embedded in the video. Even the Tulsi video of the remix version of ‘Hamari Ankhon mein’ featuring Aamina Shafaat made better use of the brand.

So, what could have been done with ‘Suno Zara’? The thing is, Touch is one of those brands that cannot be conspicuously shown just about everywhere as opposed to other brands like, say Tulsi.  One of the things that could have been done was to include the Touch billboard in the backdrop in some of the scenes. That would definitely have looked natural.

There is, however, one more strategy that should have been used, and that is, subliminal advertising. What’s that? Let me tell you a story to convey the impact of this technique. In 1954, in a non-descript theatre, a coke bottle was shown for a fraction of a second intermittently during the movie screening. The time interval was so short that the conscious mind of the consumer couldn’t percieve it but the subconscious mind definitely did, for  a number of people watching the movie suddenly became thirsty and had to go grab a cola. This sort of advertising was immediately banned at that time. However, it has remained in vogue and a number of brand managers over the years have used it discreetly.  Even the latest bestseller Buyology by Martin Lindstrom that has been the rage these days endorses it full-heartedly.

An image of touch shown a number of times during the song for a millisecond would have been a good thing to use in this scenario. However, what’s done is done.

Now what GreenStar needs to focus on is the BTL stuff, a lot of BTL activities that don’t have the promotion of Touch at their core but a great consumer experience, and Touch would just ‘happen’ to be around in that setting. Without that, the impact of ATL strategy would fizzle out soon enough. They did some of it at the Lifestyle exhibition, however there was too much brand clutter in that event to make your brand stand out in the mind of the consumer.

 And now, if you haven’t had enough of the song, heres more of it:

Suno Zara on Youtube